Wirtgen Group Products Are At Least A Generation Ahead Of Competition
Mr. Ramesh Palagiri
Wirtgen India Private Limited
Civil Engineering & Construction Review: Which latest innovative products and technologies were introduced in 2019? What was the role of your organization in this regard?
Ramesh Palagiri: The Wirtgen Group has been consistently developing products that offer better efficiency in terms of fuel consumption, which helps in sustainable development and less carbon emissions, lower life cycle costs and better productivity of these machines.
To begin with, Wirtgen has introduced the Cold Milling and Cold Recycling technologies. These two technologies are reasonably well-accepted in the market. The cold recycling reuses 100% of asphalt pavement material and the only addition is 2-3% bitumen, which rehabilitates the asphalt pavement to its original properties. Soil stabilisation is also becoming very popular, and these technologies result in saving resources, faster construction and cost economical solutions. Further, the Cement Treated Base or Subbase (CTB or CTSB) not only reduces aggregate requirement, but also ensures stronger foundation and reduces layers.
For concrete paving, the Wirtgen Slip form pavers now offer dual-layer concrete paving, where a single machine is used for dual layer concrete paving, and the bottom layer and the top layer concrete are paved in a synchronised operation. Additionally, it is ensured that both the top and bottom layers are paved ‘Wet-in-Wet’, regardless of weather or site conditions; this can be done with single paver or with two pavers, where it is necessary to distribute the operating weight to two separate machines.
Vögele has been the industry pioneer over the last 50 years and has introduced several innovations like the pressure bars, electric heating of the screed, Niveltronic plus operating concept and ergo plus operator features. Further, with our Dash-3 pavers, we also offer the eco plus (helps in saving fuel), auto set plus, pave dock assistant, etc. Vögele also offers several other innovative products like the Spray Jet paver (does the tack coat and paving with the same paver), mobile feeder (now being used for building of airport runways and expressways), and also the in-line paving technology. The most recent innovation from Vögele is the Road Scan, which helps the operator of the paver know the exact temperature of the mic as it is being paved.
The final finish of the road depends to a great extent on the accuracy delivered by these pavers in addition to the mix quality and temperature at which it is laid and compaction. Moreover, with technologies like inline paver, we are able to pave both the dense bitumen macadam and the wearing course in a single pass operation, as Hot on Hot, eliminating the tack coat and saving in the other costs.
For compacting, HAMM offers various optional innovative systems like HCM (Hamm Intelligent compaction meter and Analyser), HCQ (Continuous compaction control) and HAMMTRONIC, which insures the delivery of required compaction efforts from the machine to ground and also avoids over compaction of the surface to be compacted. These technologies, which help in optimising the operating cost along with saving of time, are in use globally and as well in India.
The HAMM oscillation technology is also available in Asphalt compactors in a combination, with vibration in the front drum and oscillation in the rear drum. Further, Hamm soil compactors (HAMM 311) and tandem roller (HD99) are built with patented design of three point articulation joint; this connects the front and rear end of the compactor and ensures even weight distribution in turns for outstanding traction in rough terrain, shock absorption (driving comfort), outstanding directional stability and increased resistance to tipping when turning.
CE&CR: Please brief us on your organization’s efforts towards R&D for technological advancements in construction and related sectors.
Ramesh Palagiri: At Wirtgen Group, we continuously upgrade our products by understanding the customer’s needs, their valuable feedback and suggestions and we try to incorporate this within our new products. The machines undergo a lot of testing in different conditions and even with our existing customers, before they are launched in the market. The average age of any of the Wirtgen Group product in the market is around 3 years, which means that most of our products are from the new generation and in most cases, the Wirtgen Group products are at least a generation ahead of competition.
CE&CR: What is your view about growth and development of construction and related sectors in the next five years?
Ramesh Palagiri: The future of the construction industry and the related sectors is very positive; this is because, there is a huge need for the infrastructure- roads, highways and airports. Several projects have already been awarded, and with focus of the government on infrastructure, growth is probable. Though there might be a reduction in the pace, we expect the growth to pickup soon.
CE&CR: What is your organization’s plan for 2020?
Ramesh Palagiri: Wirtgen Group continues to be very bullish in the long term prospects for the Roads and Highways sector, and hence, would continue to invest in our Pune plant, along with our direct sales and customer support network in India. We have now decided to purchase additional land adjacent to our existing land in Pune for future expansion. The expansion for the new finishing and painting hall, which would enhance the production capacity of Kleemann Screens/Hamm Compactors and Vogele Pavers, has just completed. In 2020, we would be further expanding our Kleemann hall by an additional bay. We also have plans to start manufacturing a few more products from the Hamm range in Pune. The exports contribute 20% today to our sales and we expect this to go up in the coming years.
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